Senator Lindsey Graham got into an argument with a country music star over Covid vaccines at a secret dinner hosted by Donald Trump for donors to discuss the 2024 presidential elections.
The intimate dinners with a crafted list of 12 to 16 people were hosted by Save America – Mr Trump’s leadership PAC – to brief the former president’s endorsement record for the upcoming midterms, Politico reported.
In one such “informal and off-the-record” dinner in Nashville, Mr Graham got into a “contentious back-and-forth” with singer-songwriter John Rich.
The South Carolina Republican reportedly argued with Mr Rich over vaccines as the former president and Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker looked on.
While Mr Graham praised vaccines and argued Mr Trump should talk about their development, the country star vociferously criticised the injections, the report stated.
Mr Rich allegedly joked that he might move to South Carolina to challenge the senator in a GOP primary race. One of the people in attendance said Mr Trump appeared to enjoy seeing the two “duke it out”.
During the secret dinner, Mr Graham told the former president that he would have his “wholehearted support” for another campaign, but should he decide to run for office again, he should make his intentions clear soon.
The senator was slammed last year for drifting from the party line and encouraging people to consider taking the Covid jab. While speaking at a gathering of the Dorchester County GOP, Mr Graham had said: “If you haven’t had the vaccine, you ought to think about getting it, because if you’re my age…”
He was immediately shouted down with attendees yelling “no”.
Meanwhile, the senator’s lawyers in a new federal court filing, claimed Mr Graham did not try to interfere with the election results in Georgia after Mr Trump’s 2020 defeat to Joe Biden.
The filing is part of the senator’s attempt to quash a subpoena ordering him to testify before a grand jury in Georgia probing the actions of Mr Trump and his allies.
“Senator Graham has never inserted himself into the electoral process in Georgia, and has never attempted to alter the outcome of any election,” Mr Graham’s attorneys stated in court papers filed in South Carolina.
The senator was named, along with other Trump allies and lawyers, in petitions filed last week by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
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